Sunday, November 27, 2016

Winner Winner NaNoWriMo Dinner!



Okay, I don't know what that headline means either, but I do know I won the 2016 National Novel Writing Month challenge today. Woo hoo! Clocking in at a little over 50k words (see stats diagram below) at around 11:00p on 11/26.


Did I finish Elvenking, the third book in the "Leonard the Great" series? Nope. Not by a long shot. A quick outline check tells me that I've got eight or more chapters left and previous experience tells me that I've got around 30k+ words to go before I'm completely finished with the first draft.

During the editing portion of my noveleering, I tend to cut out a good 20k and usually end up with a complete MG fantasy novel that's around 60k words, give or take a few grand.

That's cool. As I mentioned in my announcement post, I wasn't expecting to complete the first draft of this novel, just write the first 50k words of it.

In case you haven't guessed it already, I use the NaNo challenge to jumpstart me into action and move me past my paralysis at the thought of starting a huge writing project like a novel. So far I'm 5 for 5 in beating the challenge (knock on virtual wood), so I guess it works for me.

If you've ever had that itch that says you should at least try to write a novel before you croak, I recommend giving National Novel Writing Month a shot. Like it did for me, it could be just the thing you need to help you stop itching and start writing!

Monday, October 31, 2016

iAi Featured Book of the Month: "The Secret Voice" by Bob Nailor

The year is 1961. In a quaint, rural NW Ohio town, secrets are coming to light. Daniel Yoder, an Amish boy with a dream, wants to attend high school against the strict rules of the Amish church. Surprisingly, the Bishop and Daniel's father both agree to let him attend. At school, Daniel meets the newly-hired chorus teacher, Julie Bronson, the sole black person in the all-white community. Julie discovers Daniel has the gift of song and tries to encourage his talent. Together, can this pair conquer adversity and the stresses pitting them against both religious stereotypes and racial prejudices? Everyone has secrets - some kept better than others. Still, secrets tend to surface. Nobody can hide from who they truly are in... The Secret Voice.

To purchase Bob's book, please visit its Amazon Page.

To learn more about Bob and all of his books, please visit his Official Website.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016: I'm Back!

After a five year absence, I've decided to give the National Novel Writing Month challenge another try. This year, my novel project is Elvenking, the third book in the Dragonfriend series.

As many of you know, the NaNo challenge is to write a complete 50k word novel during the month of November. I fudge just a little on that (Hey, it's allowed!) by saying I'll be writing the first fifty thousand words of my novel, but not necessarily completing it.

I've finished four NaNo novels to date and self-published two of those four (I'm querying a third).

The NaNo "word count/percentage completed" widget is now residing in the column to the right. Starting at midnight on Nov. 1st, you'll be able to keep track of my daily progress. Feel free to praise or mock me, depending on how I'm doing.

If you're looking for a writing buddy, I'm sillyroger over on the NaNo site. There's no obligation to being a "buddy," but I do find it motivating to see how my friends are doing throughout the month.

Are you taking the NaNo challenge? If so, good for you. It's a little scary, but very satisfying. Try it!

p.s. The cheesy cover for Elevenking is just something I mocked up to motivate me. The finished product will look much better!

UPDATE: As of Saturday, 11/12, I'm at 26409. That's just over halfway there!


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Friday, September 30, 2016

iAi Featured Book of the Month: "The Old Mermaid's Tale" by Kathleen Valentine

http://amzn.to/2dgrNdP
(Novel - 132k words. Love Story, Coming-of-Age, Historical - Paperback or eBook) In 1960 when Clair Wagner's friends are showing off their new bikinis at the local swimming hole and planning weddings, Clair is plotting her escape from her rural farm-community life. She is headed for college on the shores of Lake Erie with plans for the future and dreams of a "handsome sailor with the constellations of the Northern Seas in his eyes".
          Into her life comes Pio, a beautiful Italian fisherman, who longs for a life of adventure on the Great Lakes under the aurora borealis. Clair soon meets Gary, the dashing son of a wealthy shipping magnate, who introduces her to Canal Street on the waterfront where she encounters The Old Mermaid Inn, a tavern that, as Gary tells her, "deserves its reputation".
          But The Old Mermaid Inn, with its giant painting of a seductive mermaid, is home to some fascinating people including Tessie, the owner and original mermaid, and the intriguing Baptiste, a Breton mariner injured in a shipwreck, who earns his living as a musician.
          With Pio, Clair discovers passion, with Gary she gains entry into the world of the commercial waterfront, and with Baptiste she discovers all-consuming love. But as her relationship with Baptiste grows she discovers he is far more complex and mysterious than she could imagine. He has secrets and his secrets will alter her life forever.
           Set against the backdrop of Great Lakes shipping legends and lore, The Old Mermaid's Tale is in part a coming-of-age story, in part a history of a transformative time in America, and throughout a love story of grand proportions that pays homage to the importance of story-telling in our lives. (Also available in Boxed Set with Depraved Heart and Each Angel Burns for Kindle only.)

"The soul, they say, is divine and the flesh is iniquity. But I am a musician and I ask this - without the wood and the strings of the violin, where would the sonata find form?" - from the Prologue
 
You can learn more about "The Old Mermaid's Tale" by going HERE.
 
About the author...  From the Allegheny Mountains where she grew up, to the Gloucester seaport
where she writes, Kathleen Valentine loves nothing more than listening to the stories that people tell while sitting on front porches, gathered around kitchen tables, or swapped in coffee shops and taverns. Her collection of legends, folklore, and tall tales are woven into her fiction. The award-winning author of novels, novellas, & short story collections, as well as books of knitting patterns, & a cookbook/memoir about growing up Pennsylvania Dutch, Valentine has been listed as an Amazon Top Selling Author in Horror, Mystery/Suspense, Cooking, and Knitting. As a writer her primary interest is delving into the psychology of her characters. Her stories are sometimes mysterious, sometimes funny, usually romantic, and frequently frightening. Her characters range from lost children and grumpy old folks, to mysterious men and women who are not to be trifled with.

She lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts, America's oldest seaport.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Can Writers Monetize a Con Visit?

I had an interesting exchange with Shea Fontana, a writer friend of mine. She was wondering if it's possible for a writer to monetize a con visit (Comic-Con, Dragon Con, etc.). Here it is...

Shea:  Does anyone have good resources on how to business at Cons (especially for writers)? I like going to them and hanging out with the fans, but losing several days of potential work every time is not ideal... No paid vacation in freelance life...

Roger:  Shea, I've wondered about this, too. In general, I think it's much harder for a writer to monetize a con visit.

Artists are able to justify renting a booth to sell prints and self-pubbed comics/graphic novels, etc., but unless you have successful indie titles of your own (or are able to work out some sort of appearance deal with your publisher/studio), I'm not sure how it would work for a writer. Plus, those booths can be pricey.

Most of the writer success stories I've run across involve booth rentals and/or popular sci-fi/fantasy/youth authors who do signings (often on someone else's dime).

Over the years, I've been invited to reading festivals (the book equivalent of a con) where, in exchange for appearing on panels and doing readings and signings, etc., they paid for travel and lodging expenses and gave a small per diem. Maybe asking for at least that level of "payment" when you're invited to a con can take some of the sting out of taking an unpaid vacation.

I'm not sure if that's the kind of info you're looking for, but hopefully it's at least a little bit helpful.


Shea:  This is exactly what I'm looking for! Artist can do commissions and sell prints, so maybe they can make a little cash (but from all accounts, not much). But even if I could get wholesale books to sell, being a "merchant" sounds like a certain circle of hell. So I guess it's just a publicity/networking play...

How about you folks? Any thoughts on or experience with this subject? If so, please share in the comments.

Here's a link to an enlightening post by sci-fi pro author Chuck Wendig entitled "The Pros And Cons of Pro Cons (For Writers)" It's a real eye opener!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Saturday, August 13, 2016

More Progress on My Work in Progress and Other Progress

So... the first chapter of my sci-fi  WIP is at a solid literary agency that specializes in picture books and middle-grade/YA reads. I'm hoping they like it well enough to request the full manuscript. I decided to dip my toe into the traditional publishing pool for a couple of reasons:

First, I'm not a "Indie books suck!" or "Traditional publishing sucks!" kind of guy. I'd be as happy with a nice contract from a publisher as I would with a high sales ranking on a self-pubbed Kindle title. Yep, no snobbery either way as far as I'm concerned. I just want to get my books out there so people can enjoy them.

Second, my WIP is a shiny-new-well-written-bauble (imho) that isn't part of an already published series. Thanks to incredibly helpful notes from my writer friends and some pro-level proofing/copy editing, I think my manuscript is in excellent shape. In other words, this is the perfect opportunity to woo a good agent and give traditional publishing a shot.

I'll let you know how things go. For now, wish me luck.

Then, as I announced on my Facebook Author Page...

Good news for UNDRASTORMUR fans. I've got parts two and three completely outlined and have some strong notions on where I want to go with parts four and five. Yay! The idea is to end up with a total of five novelettes in the series. Fyi, a novelette is roughly 7,500 to 17,500 words in length - Undrastormur was right around 13,000 words.

Writing starts this week!